Senior Fraud Alert was created because of a need for resources and information on fraud and scams, presented in a way that was accessible to seniors. Social workers noticed seniors increasingly becoming the targets of scams. So, The YEG Seniors Alliance (the Edmonton Seniors Centre, Westend Seniors Activity Centre, and ICAN Seniors Association) -in partnership with Edmonton Police Service and the Edmonton Community Foundation- created seniorfraudalert.ca to provide an easy-to-understand resource for seniors to access when researching scams and fraud.
Oftentimes, information on fraud and scams is presented to seniors using technical language, such as “Cookies” and “Phishing”, which can make it difficult for seniors to understand the information. The groups gathered over 100 seniors who gave input on the language and design of the website to ensure it was as accessible as possible. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, this website is the only one in Canada that focuses specifically on seniors.
[As one senior remarked, 'When I hear people talk about 'Phishing,' I think about 'fishing,' not scams!]
Once common, accessible language was identified, the groups presented the information with seniors in a video, peer-to-peer format that was positive and empowering rather than negative and fear-inducing. The site contains a course on identifying scams, along with information specific to over forty different scams. Additionally, the resources are available in six different languages, including Italian, Chinese, French, Spanish and Ukrainian.
Seniorfraudalert.ca is a great resource created by seniors, for seniors, and is an excellent example of the power of organizations bringing collective efforts together to serve seniors better. We are grateful for the work of Edmonton Seniors Centre, Westend Seniors Activity Centre, ICAN Seniors Association, Edmonton Police Service, and the Edmonton Community Foundation in creating this important resource for seniors, and we encourage everyone to share it with the seniors in their lives! The Westend Seniors Activity Centre is now taking the lead on managing the website and has been tasked by the provincial government to promote it province-wide. They continue to work with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre to provide the most up-to-date fraud alerts.